Given the latest attack by the Israeli Air Force on a suspected scientific facility in Damascus, or a convoy of trucks carrying sophisticated weapons depending on the source, Israel has in effect set the standards of what a “Red Line” truly means.
The lack of response by Assad should be a revelation to all the other leaders making “Red Line” threats just to dodge their responsibilities instead of an exercise in true leadership.
Assad has already tested Obama”™s “Red Line” successfully when he used chemical weapons against Syrians, even though the Obama Administration denied it when their own Diplomats were confirming it in secret dispatches.
Maybe President Obama should withhold from using the term “Red Line” in the future to threaten Assad; instead, here are other idiomatic terms that would offer the President several more dodge balls.
- At Daggers Drawn (Obama could say to Assad: I will be at daggers dawn if you deploy chemical weapons)
- Beat the Tar Out Of (I will beat the tar out of you if you use chemical weapons)
- Before You Can Say Knife (US troops will attack you before you can say knife if you use chemical weapons)
- Get the Axe (If you use chemical weapons, you will get the axe)
- In Your Sight (If you use chemical weapons, I will have you in my sight)
- Lock and Load (If you use chemical weapons, you better lock and load)
- Mailed Fist (If you use chemical weapons, I will mail you my fist)
- Over The Top (If you use chemical weapons, you have gone over the top)
- Pull The Trigger (If you use chemical weapons, I will pull the trigger on you)
- Put to the Sword (If you use chemical weapons, I will have put you to the sword)
- Set Your Sights On (If you use chemical weapons, I will set my sight on you)
- Shoot from the Hip (If you use chemical weapons, I will shoot from the Hip)
- Shoot First Ask Questions Later (If you use chemical weapons, I will shoot first then ask my questions later)
- Draw a Line in the Sand (I am drawing a line in the sand should chemical weapons be used by your regime)
With these fourteen alternatives to “Red Line”, Assad can use chemical weapons, transport WMD to Hezbollah, deliver Uranium to Iran, continue massacring the innocent and President Obama has fourteen different chances of letting our enemies off the hook.